Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks August 12 (60-80 per hour)
The Perseids Meteor Shower will peak August 12-13 in 2007.
This reliable annual shower usually produces 1 or 2 meteors per minute.
The Perseids usually produce fast, bright meteors with occasional fireballs.
In 2007, the Perseids Shower peaks on the night of a new moon making the sky dark and perfect for viewing.
The Perseids will be visible to viewers north of latitude 32N. Latitude map:
The best viewing time is from 9:00 PM of Sunday the 12th through dawn of the 13th. Your time time zone.
Several nights before and after the night of the 12th will also have increased meteor activity (even tonight).
don't need to concern yourself too much about where to look and where
you go. You can keep it simple. A darker sky is better. Below are some
tips to maximize the number of meteors you will see.
Get as far away from light pollution as possible. If possible, go northwest of light pollution.
northwest toward the constellation Perseus (where you will also see
Mars). Make a star map of your location (enter latitude, longitude,
date and time of viweing): http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/
will probably increase through the night with up to 80 meteors per hour
near dawn. However, the radiant will drop toward the horizon. The
radiant is the point of the sky from which meteors tend to originate.
can take your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to night vision. Any
flash of white light, and your eyes have to adjust again. You can use a
red cover on your flash light to preserve night vision. Try to view
away from roads where headlights will flash in your eyes. About
biological night vision:
You might want to take something comfortable to sit on and some water and snacks. Make an event of this natural spectacle.
Excerpts from an article by NASA:
source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is
nowhere near Earth, the comet's tail does intersect Earth's orbit. We
glide through it every year in August. Tiny bits of comet dust hit
Earth's atmosphere traveling 132,000 mph. At that speed, even a smidgen
of dust makes a vivid streak of light--a meteor--when it disintegrates.
Because Swift-Tuttle's meteors fly out of the constellation Perseus,
they are called "Perseids."
And there's a bonus: Mars. In the
constellation Taurus, just below Perseus, Mars shines like a bright red
star. Many of the Perseids you see on August 12th and 13th will flit
right past it. Instead of following the meteor, you may find you have a
hard time taking your eyes off Mars. There's something bewitching about
it, maybe the red color or perhaps the fact that it doesn't twinkle
like a true star. You stare at Mars and it stares right back.